New Hyde Park/Garden City Park Trustee Curtis Axelsen announced recently that he received word from New York State that the local inter-governmental application for a grant to study the feasibility of consolidation of the New Hyde Park School District Library and the Library of the Village of New Hyde Park had been rejected.
Axelsen, who prepared and submitted the grant application on behalf of both the school district library, the Hillside Library and the New Hyde Park Village Library said that in his letter John Sheffer, director of the Statewide Shared Services Program said, "While the joint application of the New Hyde Park/Garden City Park School District, the Village of New Hyde Park and the school library known as the Hillside Library, suggested a valuable opportunity for intergovernmental collaboration, only 12 of the 112 proposals received were accepted. Sheffer expressed his regret that many valuable opportunities for enhanced government services could not be accommodated due to the limited funds available."
In expressing his thoughts regarding the notification Axelsen said, "Speaking for myself and not the school board, I consider the submission of the library grant application as something positive for the community. Although we did not receive the money requested to fund the library consolidation feasibility study, the community should recognize that a wonderful thing happened when the grant application was submitted."
Axelsen continued, "In a time when people question whether government is truly responsive to their needs, three separate, autonomous local government bodies joined together, taking acting on and not just talking about a plan for community improvement. The New Hyde Park/Garden City Park School District, the Village of New Hyde Park and the Board of Trustees of the Hillside Library all worked with a spirit of joint cooperation to achieve a shared goal-to build a new and better library for the residents. This unified response to a community's needs illustrates local government performing at its best."
Axelsen went on, "Many deserve to be mentioned for their part in this endeavor. New Hyde Park Village Mayor Warren Tackenberg and the board of trustees showed leadership. Their sharp, clear vision for a better future led to the offer of locating a new expanded library on village property. Local political leaders including Senator Michael Balboni, Maureen O'Connell and Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello must be commended for their support of the feasibility study."
Axelsen concluded, "I do regret that the state was unable to return to new Hyde Park/Garden City Park a small portion of the tax dollars we send to Albany every year, but I understand that there were many other worthy projects and only a limited amount of funds available. By establishing the grant program for shared services state government has set the proper tone for inter-governmental cooperation. While we did not get money this time, what was gleaned from this project was just as important. The community saw independent local government bodies working together attempting to achieve efficiencies of services and save tax dollars, an idea whose realization was long overdue."
Axelsen finally added, "To get this new library built, we as a community, will just have to work a little harder. I am sure continued joint governmental efforts and community support will ultimately lead to a library that will make us all proud."